Author: saundralparker


I’d like to say I’ve been making videos, but have not.  I haven’t had a lot of energy, and I’m not sure why.  I’ve been sleeping a lot, and would sleep more if it didn’t make me feel guilty…  And my brain hasn’t been working well.  I thought tomorrow was my girlfriend’s birthday, but it was actually today, so I’ve already dropped the ball big time with that.  She called and I asked if her birthday was tomorrow and she said, actually, it’s today….and that made me feel awful.  I’m not good with keeping a calendar nearby.  I know the date of her birthday, but clearly didn’t know what the date was when I called her.  I’m a terrible friend.  And she’s always so good about remembering my birthday and making sure I have a pretty cake to celebrate with and a nice gift….Call me crappy’s ok, because I’m already calling myself that.

I was going to work on a project today, but can’t find the things I bought at the Dollar Tree to make it with.  I hate it when I’m so disorganized and my aggravation and frustration goes into hyper-drive.  Today was going to be the day I really made things happen, unfortunately I can’t get motivated to accomplish anything.  So tomorrow will be the day I get things done….Today I’ll upload a video and that’s probably all the energy I’ll have for the day..After that, I think I’ll read, or take a nap.


New Spectrum Noir Harmony Fuchsia Inks: A Bummer

I apologize for all of the whining I did during this video… I probably should have waited for my cold to go away before making videos, but clearly, I didn’t..
HSN had a craft day, and I bought this set Crafter’s Companion Fuchsia Stamp and Ink set. $29.95, link:
The inks are splotchy and I was really disappointed with them. I tried rubbing my stamp across the ink pad, that didn’t work. I tried dabbing the stamp on the ink pad, that didn’t work..I basically tried every way I could think to ink my stamps, and still got splotchy results, even after they were dry. I decided to send the set back, as the inks were the primary reason I bought it.

The makeup brushes I bought from Aliexpress for $4.36 link: Light colors blended well, but darker colors seemed to not blend well. I recommend you use a very light touch when using these brushes and wiping the brush on a cloth to clean them between color changes.  I personally prefer my 1″ chip brushes to these.
I used two Distress Inks to make an outline around the front of my card in Tumbled Glass and Broken China..The card stock was Michaels 110lb Heavyweight white cardstock       5″x 5 1/4″.
To stamp the set, you use the number 1 layered stamps first in the lightest colors. For leaves, I used Pear Pizzazz (retired) first, and then True Thyme (also retired), second.
I stamped using an acrylic block that I made with a Tim Holtz Idea-Ology Fragments and super gluing a Tim Holtz Idea-Ology Curio Knob to the center. When stamping, you should get better results by stamping on a foam mat, which I did use…but didn’t have great stamping results. I struggled with the darker green ink, so used makeup micro brushes I bought from Aliexpress link: to color in spots where the ink skipped.
When stamping the leaves, I found that the stems were fairly close together for the size of the flowers, so recommend you stamp the greenery far enough away from each other so you can stamp the flowers. I started with the number one flowers and the lightest pink ink that came with the set. I decided to use Color Box inks for the rest of the stamping….The number two stamps were inked with Fuchsia from Color Box and the number 3 was inked with Grape Jelly.
I used birthday stamps from Laugh out Loud Stamps called Friends Stick Together, and the inside sentiment came from Simon Says Stamp Amazing stamp set.
I added foam tape from Aliexpress (link: to the back of the card front and attached it to a glitter card base that was 5 1/4″ by 5 1/2″ tall.


Don’t you just hate getting your taxes done?  I do.  I have a degree in accounting, but chose not to pursue that career specifically because I HATE doing taxes.  Notice that was a capital HATE?  During my senior year in college, I had an internship at an accounting firm during tax season and all I did was taxes….it was in the era before computerized taxes, and yet, it’s never made a difference.  Every year I fret about doing them, and started having H & R Block do them many years ago when we filed with itemized deductions.  It was way too stressful for me, and I was always relieved when they were done.  Last year we filed the short form, but with Schedule A & B, and they charged us over $400 to do them.  I decided it might be time for a change.  So this year, we were in our local library, and they had a sign up that said they would do our taxes for us for free.  You know when you think something’s too good to be true, it almost always is……this was definitely the case.  We had a college student do them, and at first, I wasn’t concerned, because the student said that their “supervisor” would look over everything he did, to ensure nothing was wrong.  We have one packet of information that is confusing, and was frankly, that packet is the sole reason I couldn’t handle doing the taxes myself.  The student looked a little bewildered, until he went to his “supervisor”….and the supervisor said, “Just ignore that.”  I brought our last year’s return with us, and I knew that the person who’d done our taxes in the past hadn’t “ignored it,” as she made check marks for every number she applied to our tax return…and there were a lot of check marks.  I waited until the student was done and the “supervisor” came over to look at our return, before asking any questions.  The “supervisor’s” first question to us was “What is Rich’s social security number?”  We told him what it was, and then he asked if we had any way to verify it…Like what?  Here’s last year’s tax return with it…”No, do you carry your social security card?”  Really…who carries their social security card now?  After looking over several documents, he finally gave up on the social security number issue…I have no idea what the problem was that he wouldn’t take last year’s tax return as verification, but he didn’t like doing it….and that’s when I started to fret.

So then came the form that he told the student to ignore.  I showed him last year’s tax return and all of the check marks the last preparer had made, and then he decided he needed to do something with it.  He had the student input a lot of numbers and in the end,  the “supervisor” told us we owed the state some money but we could just send them extra money sometime this year..WHAT?  I don’t know about you, but I don’t think it works that way.  Normally, you know exactly how much to pay the state and you write them a check before the 15th of April…He didn’t even tell us if he filed a state return..I’m sitting here fretting about what a mess I’ve created by assuming these people actually knew what they were doing, when clearly they did not.  I guess tomorrow I’ll make an appointment with a friend who works at a bookkeeping service, and see if they would be willing to look over the mess that I’ve got, to determine what the heck is going on, and at this point the $400 I paid last year feels like it might have been a bargain.  At least I knew how much I needed to pay the state when I left their offices.

Note to self, don’t ever assume someone knows how to do taxes just because they say they do…clearly today was a great example of free actually comes at a price…..darn it.

Rose Gelli Plate Card — Stencil w/ 3-D Look

Rich has had a bad cold and shingles, so we’ve been out of touch for a couple of weeks, and wanted to give you an explanation.  As always, I’ve written all of the directions and products below.

Gel Press (gelli plate) link:
Plexi Glass piece is 7″ x 7″ x 3/8″ thick..bought at my local glass company for $4

Speedball brayer:

I used Distress Inks:
Mustard Seed
Carved Pumpkin
Stampin up’ Pumpkin Pie ink

I used 110 lb Recollections Heavyweight cardstock from Michaels, cut to 6 x 6″ and after inking the gel press with Mustard Seed, laying the stencil in the bottom right corner of the gel press, and dabbing some of the ink off with copy paper, I laid the card stock on the bottom right corner of the gel press (gelli plate), and rubbed with my hand to ensure the ink comes through the stencil. Removed the stencil, and added a layer of Carved Pumpkin Distress ink to the gel press,and ran the brayer back and forth over the gel press.  (FYI, Gel Press and Gelli Plates are the same tool, just made by different companies.  Mine is a Gel Press..)
I didn’t add the stencil this time, just put the paper back on the gel press and rubbed my hand over it (holding it with one hand) as this layer was to get rid of the white lines left behind with the stencil (and now instead of having white lines around the rose, I’ll have orange ones)….I used Pumpkin Pie ink from Stampin’ Up and laid the stencil on the gel press a little bit to the left of my original placement…this will give it more of a 3-d look…
I cleaned the gel press and the stencil with a spray bottle of water so the stencil is clean, as ink will transfer to your next project if you don’t clean them off…and the gel press needs cleaned between uses…
I used my Prismacolor colored pencils…link: usually has the lowest prices for Prismacolor pencils…my set is the set of 150. I can’t recommend these enough…they are really creamy and wonderful. I added a link to this video sharing my comparison of colored pencils.

I wanted to make highlights with the colored pencils and Vaseline.

The colors I used were:
Lemon Yellow
Poppy Red
Pumpkin Orange with Vaseline
I added a little white colored pencil to the center of the rose off camera, sorry.

After I finished with colored pencils, I rubbed Vaseline over the image to blend out the hard edges of the colored pencils..I wiped off the excess Vaseline with a baby bib.

I made a card base 5 1/2″ x 5 1/2″ premade card base and rubbed Pumpkin Pie ink from Stampin Up and changed to Distress Ink Carved Pumpkin and rubbed the ink pad over the card front while laying it on a scrap paper. I only needed to ink the edges…

I cut the rose to 5 1/4″ x 5 1/4″ and cut a red base 5 3/8″ x 5 3/8″.

I stamped my sentiments in Carved Pumpkin (from old Stampin’ Up sympathy stamp sets) on a scrap of white paper and cut it so it had a small border. I showed how to do this in the guillotine trimmer video that I linked on this video.


I’d like to tell you that Rich’s cold is better, but it’s not..So far though, the shingles have not been horrible, and I hate saying that out loud, as the doctor says that the pain can kick in at any time….so I’m holding my breath, praying Rich’s shingles are of the mild variety.  Rich asked the doctor if that was a possibility, and she kind of snickered, and said “not likely.”  Apparently she is of the tough love school of thought…she doesn’t want Rich to have any unrealistic expectations, or hope….

I’ve been trying to find every kind of happy food for Rich, and the big winners have been sweets…I felt the same way when I had the cold…just bring on the sugar..I drank a gallon of Kool-Aid in three days….and I don’t even really like Kool-Aid..but my throat was sore and I couldn’t taste much, and anything with fizz burned, so Kool-Aid was cold and easy on my throat.  If you haven’t given it a try since you were a kid, I strongly recommend you give it a whirl.

This is all sounding really familiar to me, so if I’ve already gone off on a Kool-Aid rant, we’ll chalk it up to exhaustion.  Rich’s coughing has been so bad at night, and no matter what remedies we try, he’s still coughing.  If any of you have a tried and true way to stop coughing (that doesn’t involve any over the counter medicines, since we’ve tried all of them)….let me know..


I thought we were both getting over our colds, then Rich’s cold came back on Friday.  It seems like it’s worse this time than the last, and his throat is really sore.  I felt better but have been so tired, I slept most of the weekend.  Then this morning, Rich woke me up and pointed to his back and said, “I think I have Shingles.”  YIKES!  So he went to our doctor and yes, he has Shingles.  So he’s been put on a bunch of medicines and I hope he doesn’t have them for up to six weeks and instead, more like the two week minimum, because he took a medicine that’s supposed to shorten the duration….and I really hope it does.   He’s not in pain yet, but I’m worried.  The frustrating part is that Rich has been trying to get his shingle vaccine, but none are available in our area…What are the odds?

As for videos, I have three that are finished and are waiting for Rich to upload them, so it might be a while before any new videos go up..


I’ve been busy in the craft room, as I have a bunch of cards I need to make for special occasions.  I was thinking about ways to use the gelli plate, and created a rose card by using a rose stencil with a variety of ink colors, then used my colored pencils to add definition.  In the end, I really liked the way it turned out and hope you do too.

After I finished that card, I needed to make a birthday card for a friend who just turned eighty.  He was our college professor, the one who asked me to tutor Rich, and ultimately claims he’s the reason we got married….Just a sweet and wonderful man…I decided to make him a shaker card with a bird stamped on the acetate and colored with alcohol markers.  I added some flowers to the front so it appears the bird is flying in to check them out…We were able to see him open the card, and he was amazed that it was a shaker, and decided I should sell cards for Hallmark….it made my day.

I’m finally shaking the cold, and Rich has been over his for a few days…On our way back from the college we attended, Rich said “I hate to say this…….” and I knew what he was going to say next….”but my throat is starting to hurt.”  Great, he catching another cold…that can only mean one thing..I’m destined to get it next…DARN IT!  I told him I’d have to make a bunch of cards in the next few days before I have it too…

Next weekend, we’re going to a wedding near D.C. and then on to see our nephews who live in the D.C. area.  I’ll be really bummed if I have a cold for that trip…I’m going to be pounding down lots of Vitamin C and Zinc in the meantime, and hope I somehow avoid getting sick..That’s my goal anyway…we’ll see how it turns out.